Conciliation and Mediation  

Early Conciliation

The Acas early Conciliation process now places a requirement on both the employer and the employee to start a process of compulsory discussions through conciliation before the employee wishes to submit an Employment Tribunal Claim.  The government has become worried about an ever increasing number of Employment Tribunal cases many of which fail at the first hurdle. Therefore to take the pressure off the Tribunals and to allow employers and employees to relook at their claims with a sober mind, the conciliation process is designed precisely to allow dialogue, agreements and negotiations to resolve disagreements and disputes whether financial or otherwise prior to a more formal Tribunal Hearing. This not only saves money for the employer and in those cases where costs are awarded against the employee for frivolous cases, this will save mountains of costs for the employee.

 

The Tribunal courts will suspend the Time limits for submission of an Employment Tribunal claim whilst Acas are engaged on dealing with any Employment Conciliation discussions between the employer and employee. The employee can of course pursue Employment Tribunal proceedings once they have been issued with a certificate from Acas confirming the Employment Conciliation has been completed.

 

Vivitas HR Solutions can assist the process of conciliation, so when Acas notify you of a potential claim against your company this is when you need to seek expert advice, support and guidance through the conciliation process. Vivitas has highly skilled, qualified and professional consultants who are trained in this process and will assist you through the conciliation process.

 

There is no compulsory requirement on the employer to settle any claim by the employee or to comply with attempts to settle the claim prior to a Tribunal Hearing. The conciliation process allows both parties to review their position and to revaluation the claim. Many employees will not wish to consider a settlement and may want to have their voice heard at the Tribunal whilst other employers will wish to take this matter head-on in the belief they have no case to answer. The conciliation process allows both parties to reflect on their respective positions before soaring costs of litigation takes over.

 

In the meantime, our highly experienced and qualified advisors and employment solicitors are available to support you throughout this process. If you are currently dealing with an internal employment dispute or you are faced with litigation proceedings, why not contact us today and see how we can help you.

What are the benefits of Early Conciliation?

  • Using Early Conciliation can save people time, cost and anxiety of facing an Employment Tribunal.

  • Conciliators will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and ways of resolving it.

  • Independent research has found that the average cost to an employer of resolving a case through Pre Claim Conciliation is just £475, with employers spending on average one day on a claim, compared to an average of £3,700 and four days for an Employment Tribunal.

  • Early Conciliation gives both parties up to a month to explore how to resolve their dispute using the services of an Acas conciliator.

  • When Early Conciliation has finished you will have at least one calendar month in which to submit a tribunal claim.

  • It's confidential - nothing you tell Acas or us will be passed on to anyone else unless you agree. Most tribunal proceedings are public.

  • It's voluntary - both parties must agree to take part before the process can start, and either can change their mind at any time.

  • It's not an "either/or" option - if you can't reach an agreed outcome you can still to go to a tribunal. But Acas will continue to offer support to find a resolution until the Tribunal hearing itself.

 

 

What type of issues can Early Conciliation help resolve?

Early Conciliation can help resolve the majority of workplace disputes which may lead to an employment tribunal, including:

  • unfair dismissal claims

  • workplace discrimination

  • redundancy payments or disputes around selection procedures

  • deductions from wages or unpaid notice/holiday pay

  • rights to time off or flexible working

  • equal pay

Anybody who wishes to lodge a claim with an Employment Tribunal will have to provide an Acas Early Conciliation Reference Number.

If you require any further information please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

 

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